Friday May 1,2009
STOCKS of protective face masks and the anti-viral drug Tamiflu have been selling out all over the country as panic continues to grow over the swine flu pandemic.
With three more cases confirmed in the UK yesterday, members of the public have been taking every step possible to protect themselves and their families.
Chemists and hardware stores across Britain have sold millions of face masks. And pharmacists have reported running out of Tamiflu which is prescribed to treat the illness.
In Newcastle, where another case of the contagious disease was confirmed yesterday, shops reported being inundated by worried customers looking for masks.
Chemists in Torbay, Devon, where 12-year-old Amy Whitehouse was diagnosed with swine flu earlier this week, also said they had sold out of masks.
And the 3M factory in County Durham, where the face masks are made, has begun running 24 hours a day to meet increased demand.
Pharmacists across the UK have reported being unable to obtain stocks of Tamiflu as the Government attempts to raise its stockpile to 50million.
A Health Department spokesman said: “All NHS frontline staff are to be provided with face masks with anti-virals. The anti-virals are to be taken only if staff show flu-like symptoms and will reach the frontline shortly.”